Review: Wicked Burn

Review: Wicked Burn by Beth Kery

He wanted all of her…

Vic Savian knows what he wants when he sees it. And what he wants is his sexy neighbor, Niall Chandler. So when he sees her in the hallway of their building being harassed by an aggressive suitor, Vic makes his move—and finds himself greatly rewarded…

And did she ever let him have it…

Sleeping with her gorgeous neighbor—when she didn’t even know his last name—was the craziest thing Niall’s ever done. Now, she can’t seem to get enough of Vic—or the uninhibited passion he stirs in her. Suddenly, with his help, she’s opening to sensual pleasures she’s never known before. But when Niall’s past comes back to haunt her, will she and Vic let themselves venture beyond the bedroom and explore the possibility of love that’s in their hearts?

'Wicked Burn' was somewhat of a pressure read for me. Not only have blogger friends sworn it's excellent, but Ms. Kery herself sent me a copy to review. Needless to say I've been pretty nervous with regards to my reaction and it's taken me a while to read the novel. But I've finished it and when consulting my husband and mother, they both recommended that no matter what my reaction or thoughts on the novel may be, that I would be doing a grave injustice to not only my friends but to the author as well if I wasn't completely honest. So in an effort to be honest I have to say that 'Wicked Burn' is not my favorite novel.

Vic Savian, a famous but reclusive playwrite, lives across the hall from the delectable Niall Chandler. The two have locked eyes previously and even shared an elevator alone once and even then, during these mundane moments, the tension between them crackled. Than one night Vic overhears Niall arguing with a disgruntled suitor. It doesn't take him long to recognize danger and Vic makes a rapid decision to peel the bastard away from Niall and after which, even instilling a littler fear in the man as well. In the next second though he offers Niall a drink at his apartment. Lucky for Niall, hot sex was on the menu as well.

I love having characters revealed slowly to me but I thought that in this instance that revealing was too slow. In the midst of the white hot sex, we're given emotion but very little detail as to why, especially on Vic's end. Shortly after their first sexual encounter we're given limited information on Niall's tragic past and I suppose that it was both fortunate and unfortunate that I found her history so interesting because I ended up skimming the sex scenes to a certain extent to get back to the emotional story rather than the sexual.

Niall Chandler's four year old son was murdered before her very eyes. Soon after which her husband deserts her to wallow in his own grief. After suicidal attempts turn to homicide attempts with regards to Niall's life, her husband is admitted to a mental institution. Slowly coming to terms with not only her son's death but with the guilt and her husband's accusations that it should have been her that died, Niall has done her best to put her life back together over the last three and half years. Yet Niall still lives in a semi-catatonic state where her grief frequently manifests itself with debilitating nightmares. But it's Vic's earth shattering love making that awakens her to life again.

Vic has had his share of tragedy as well but his jaded demeanor, in my opinion, made him hold his fiancé's betrayal a bit too close to heart for too long. Jenny, a gorgeous movie star with a complex, broke Vic's heart after cheating on him and choreographing the timing so that Vic would walk in on her mid-orgasm with another man. It's this betrayal that makes Vic refuse to become close enough to a woman where she has the power to once again break his heart. Yet Niall soon inspires complex emotions to arise and like the man that Vic is, he explains away his intense emotions as lustful desire.

Understandably, Niall is afraid of Vic's possible judgement regarding her son's death and she can't bring herself to tell him the truth of her past despite his offering to be there for her. Vic, finally ready and wanting to know who Niall is, nearly begs her to confide in him but of course she's too terrified of his possible negative reaction to do so. When the truth of her marriage becomes known, Vic proves true to Niall's fears and not only judges her but walks away from her as well.

As a reader, I have a serious aversion to the heroine going after the hero in general and even more so when the situation should definitely be the other way around. While I can't fully say that Vic didn't try, he did at one point call Niall, but he made no effort to truly demand an explanation which I think he was fully entitled to. I also can't say that Niall was entirely innocent for she never did return his call and she did also slink away and move from her apartment across the hall without a goodbye. Yet despite all that I believe that Vic should have manned up and went after her. Niall's crumbled and heartbreaking expression at Vic's untimely realization of her marriage, warranted some further digging on Vic's part. It's like he completely forgot her night terrors and her pale and shaky reaction to her parents arriving at her apartment unannounced. Plus she also had previously informed him that she needed to tell him something regarding her past but asks for more time. How could he have forgotten all this?

After six months of separation, Niall conspires with Vic's sister and boards at the farm that Vic owns south of Chicago while on a brief teaching foray at the local high school. Vic of course is still reeling over his discovery of Niall's marriage and is not particularly happy that she's foisted herself upon his life at the farm. Vic was beyond cruel and arrogant with his treatment of Niall and he even does the unforgivable in romance land: getting caught making out with another woman not once but this is now his second offense (the first was earlier with his ex. Jenny and I didn't like his explanation for that one at all).

On the other hand, I wanted Niall to rail at him and download her history on him so hard and fast that his head would spin. I wanted him to crumble under her valid anger and after wallowing in his guilt, he needed to get down on his knees and beg her for mercy. Yet my wishes didn't weren't realized. Instead, when I finally thought that Niall had had enough of Vic's abuse and found the will to walk away, what does she do? She runs back to him again! Vic, of course by this time knowing in detail Niall's tragedy, says he's sorry for his ugly behavior but although Vic internally realizes his love for Niall(and I could be wrong even after a second look through), he never voices it.

'Wicked Burn' wasn't by any means a bad read it just struck a lot of general dislikes for this reader. It's one of those novels that everything could have easily been cleared up with one simple and revealing conversation but where would the fun be in that, right?

This novel is definitely a very erotic read and I was surprised that the sexual content didn't merit a posting somewhere on the cover announcing this. It's categorized simply as Contemporary Romance. Perhaps there's more leniency with regards to what context requires an erotic warning to be printed with the entire romance genre heating up between the sheets these days. Either way I hope readers aren't caught off guard.

In closing, my thoughts on 'Wicked Burn' will not by any means prevent me from picking up subsequent author works. I definitely plan on purchasing Ms. Kery's 'Daring Time' based on Lea's excellent review. See below for links.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank Beth Kery for asking me to read and review 'Wicked Burn'. It's been a wonderful experience and although it's presumptuous for me to say but I hope that my thoughts won't prevent you from asking in the future.


Interested in Beth Kery? Visit Lea at Clostwriter for her fantastic reviews of 'Wicked Burn' and 'Daring Time'.

Also, you can visit Beth Kery here for more details.


Barbara said...

VFG, kudos for your honesty! I can't begin to tell you how many times I was recommended a book that I didn't particularly like and yes, it does put the pressure on as you start your review.

I have told myself, I don't believe in trashing an author's works just based on my opinion alone which is why I only write reviews on books I liked.

I figure, it's a win win. If I liked it my fellow blogger buddies will know I did and hopefully the author will make a sale. If I didn't like it, no one is the wiser because I simply don't say anything and move on.

Am I going about it the right way? Who really knows.

Sometimes I think my philosophy isn't smart because I wonder if people just think every book I read I loved, lol! But if you pay cloase attention to my Goodreads widget you will see I read alot more book than I blogged about.

I have Wicked Burn in my TBR pile and I'm still looking forward to reading it. But I think you did a wonderful job explaining your likes and dislikes. Perhaps I should start doing that rather than just blog about the books that appealled to me. I don't know.

Why don't you come join forces with me over there. We can change the banner to Happily Forever After & Lovin Me Some romance ;) We could be like Ebert & Ropert, lol!

Amy C said...

I really enjoyed this book. I have read reviews that the reviewer loved and praised the book, which in turn caused me to buy it. But then I found it lacking. I think we all have our own tastes, likes and dislikes in reading and I don't see anything wrong with explaining why you don't like something. Providing you aren't trashing it. That's just mean.

Barbara said...

Come to think of it, I didn't like that comparisson, lol! Epert & Ropert--LMAO! This winter blahness has finally gotten the better of me. *crazy laughter*


VampFanGirl said...

Hey Barbara, have I told you how much I love your input? Seriously, your comment is so thought out and precise. Man I hope mine are like that at least 3 out 5.

You made my gut sink for bit with your very kind nature and generous heart and I agree that no reviewer should ever trash an authors' book. That's not what I stand for at all.

I also think that your personal philosphy is sincere in every way and no one would ever judge your obvious kindess Barbara.

In my case, I don't believe that I was in any way unkind to Ms. Kery. I made a mission with this blog to post about every book I read and if I have some dislikes I hope to post them as detailed and justifiable as possible but again they're all only my opinion.

And like I mentioned in my review, I like Kery's work and I'm definitely going to purchase 'Daring Time'.

We should definitely do a joint review sometime Barbara. Too bad you've already posted your thoughts on 'Addicted' that may have beena good candidate. I'm going to do some pondering tonight and just such a novel...someone up and coming maybe...think about it too.


VampFanGirl said...

Hi AmyC,

I think I remember you mentioning in your own review of 'Wicked Burn' that you also hoped that Niall had been a little more agressive with revealing her past to Vic.

And I'd like to point out again that I too enjoyed this novel it just hit on my general reader dislikes.

OMG book trashing should be listed as a crime and with offenders publicly tarred and feathered! Don't you agree?


Amy C said...

Awww, Barbara doesn't want to do reviews with me :(.

I'm going to go mope now...:P.

Amy C said...

Yes, I did think it would have been more impacting if Niall had been the one to tell Vic. I was sad that she didn't do it that way, but it's her book :).

Blanche said...

VFG I also really applaud you for being so honest about your thoughts! It is such a fine line we walk when we are trying to be open to what we are reading. I've found many books that so many have loved to be so not my thing. It's so hard, more often than not I just walk away from the book. I never know what to say!

Your thoughts were honest and kind and although it wasn't your favorite book, you gave a great review and you were genuine and respectful!! :)

I truly depend on blogs like yours and Amy's and Anna's and Barbara's and Lea's and a dozen plus others that I read. You've all opened my eyes to so many other books I would have never touched!

Barbara said...

Oh, Jeez! I hope you didn't think I was saying YOU were trashing anyone, lol! Not the case AT ALL. I love your reviews--seriously. I just hate reading a review about a book that literally tears it to shreds. I've even read where the closing statement would be, don't waste your time.

I try to imagine myself as the author of that book. It would break my heart. I don't think a single author out there ever writes a book thinking it stinks.

It's all a matter of opinion. What I like, perhaps, so and so won't and visa versa.

However, if I like a book I can't help but hope someone will like it just as much as I did. THAT is the basis of my blog. I wanted a place to talk about books I LOVED. If that makes sense at all.

But again, don't get thrown off. I've read some books that IMO were not all that wonderful. But it doesn't mean that the author worked any less hard or didn't put their heart and soul into that story.

I completely back up your blogging philosophy. Why do I know that? Because I truly enjoy reading your reviews. I'm here everyday and looking forward to hearing your opinions.

So yeah, you are doing something right.

And about Addicted. If you wanted to have a discussion I'd love to! We could post it here if you want!! Let me know.

Barbara said...

And thanks Blanche! I honor yours, Amy's, VFG's, Lea's & Anna's opinions as well!!! And honestly, one look at my TBR would verify that, lol!!!

Barbara said...

Oh and Amy, I mentioned that to you once that we should all make one big blog!! Each post one day a week but no one liked my idea. I think it would be great because we each have such differnt voices and opinions. It would be fun!! Even if it was only us reading eachother's posts :)

Barbara said...

And for the record, Amy, you are always welcome to guest post on my blog. I would love to have all of you do it!

Amy C said...

I can't say I remember you mentioning that :). Or that I said I didn't like the idea!

Not a guest post but I do think joint reviews are cool. I've seen them done and I like reading through them :).

VampFanGirl said...

No don't mope AmyC! We should definitely all endeavor to joint reviews because like Barbara says we all have a different way of viewing things.

Barbara, I like the idea of one giant blog with a weekly post by each member. We definitely need to talk more in depth about this. I'm in!

VampFanGirl said...

I agree AmyC that the impact would have been more intense if Niall was the one to explain her tragedy. And again like you said, it's her book and Kery needed to stay true to her own story.

VampFanGirl said...

*Blushing* thanks again for your continued kind and constructive praise Barbara!

OMG NO, no I wasn't in no way implying that you thought that I trashed novels. Eegads no! I was just merely regurgitating what my brain was thinking and simply agreeing with your statement that you don't believe in trashing books.

Gosh I love chatting with you guys. I really can't recall how I managed all this time not having an outlet to discuss books. Thank goodness I've forgotten cause I ain't goin' back!

Love you guys!,

Barbara said...

Amy I could have sworn I mentioned it a loooonnng time ago. Something along the lines of I'll do historicals you do fantasy and Anna does Paranormal. At any rate, I think it would be so much fun if we all did one big blog together. So, I'm in along with VFG if anyone else wants to do it.

Since we all have such different views it would make for some great reviews. Plus, like Amy said we should so alot of joint reviews!!

VampFanGirl said...

Awesome!!! I'm so excited about this Barbara. We need to talk to Lea and see if we can get her in on it too!

Have you read 'The Magic Knot' Barbara? I was flipping through your blog pages but didn't see it. I was thinking that this may be a good joint review candidate. Let me know what you think. Oh and definitely we should discuss 'Addicted' and I think we should post on your blog since your pimping her right now. :)

Barbara said...

God, you know guys, I hope I'm not coming off as this big goody two shoes. But this is honestly how I feel and how I am. I'm for both the reader and the author. It's not always easy to do reviews, this is why I chose to only review books I liked. I figure that way everyone wins, you know? It's another reason why I love contests, it's fun for readers to discover a new author and it's good for authors to get to chat with "hopefully" new readers.

Eh, anyhow...

No, I haven't read The Magic Knot. I saw it at B&N though, but didn't get it. I would love to do a joint review on that!!! Yeah, definitely see if anyone else wants to in!

Oh and I am going to be reluctantly, lol, giving away an autographed copy Addicted!!!! It's on it's way, so I think a contest would be a great ending to the Addicted discussion!!

Amy C said...

I have the Magic Knot. My mom read it and said it was pretty good.

Have you read Addicted yet, VFG? I have that one too. I was going to read it now, but the mood I'm in...not very good idea. Drug addiction is something I take very personally, so I had to put the book on hold
I'll still get to it though, Barbara :).
We could do like a triple thing. Or not.

And no, Barbara, I don't remember saying I didn't like the idea. It's a common thing for bloggers to get together for reviews like that. Not only do we have different views but we also read a lot of different books too. I'd do it.

VampFanGirl said...

HELL YEAH!!! Let's totally do a triple discussion on 'Addicted'!! I haven't gotten my copy from you yet Barbara but it may be sitting in my mailbox right now... but as soon as I get I'll be sure to get started.

So you guys want to do a triple review too of 'The Magic Knot'? I just picked it up from B&N an hour ago (shh, I was supposed to only go to Staples for work but it's right next store to B&N and really, can you blame me?)

If you want AmyC we can get started on TMK and hold off on 'Addicted' until your ready to dive in. I'm totally willing to that so that you can join in on the discussion. Whatya think?

Barbara said...

Oh and for the record, I don't consider my reviews "reviews" they are merely me bragging about an awesome book I just read :)

Amy, I could have sworn. Oh well, no matter, now there are more people to join in and make it all the more fun! But perhaps a seperate blog should be opened with each of us as contributors?

And about Addicted, I hope both you and VFG like it, she really is one of my favorite authors.

Blanche said...

You girls really should do a review blog are all so very talented with words and your reviews are the very best!! :)

Barbara said...

I have to pick up The Magic Knot first!!! LOL! I could get it tomorrow. And yes, I think it's a great idea if we all discuss both books!!

Barbara said...

LOL! Has VFG's blog become like the community chat room? LOL!! Sorry, VFG!

VampFanGirl said...

Oh no Barbara, you're not coming off as a "goody two-shoes". I admire, respect, and appreciate your blogger philosophy.

And like you mentioned, you're not afraid to say it how you see it because all anyone has to do is read your ratings on goodreads. Your not giving out any sort of misinformation you're just being honest with what you're confortable with. I don't believe there is any right or wrong way to blog. It's your blog and after all the time and effort that we bloggers dedicate to our little spots on the web, it deserves for us to be true to it.

Amy C said...

I said this before on another persons blog...a review is whatever you write about the book. Whether you do a break down of the plot or simply tell your views of a book. It's still a review. I prefer simple :).

A review is a critical evaluation, and an evaluation is determining the worth by appraisal and study. In my opinion simply stating your opinion about a book is a review. It can be simple or long. :). There is no right or wrong to a review. So, yes, Barbara, your reviews are reviews :).

I have three books I have to finish before I can start another book right now. I still have my reread challenge book to read! And two books I've started but have not felt much like reading :), even though they are both by favorite authors.

VampFanGirl said...

LOL, community chat room? no kidding huh? But I love chatting with you guys and this is kinda the only way, right??

Hey Blanche thanks for swinging by and giving us your vote of confidence. Your welcome to join too. The more diverse the better I think. :)


VampFanGirl said...

Excellent point about reviews AmyC and I agree 100%!

VampFanGirl said...

Oh, and I'm sure it won't be problem to hold off on TMK until your ready AmyC. Hell, Barbara doesn't even have the book. :)

MsMoonlight (Elizabeth Jules Mason) said...

Good review VFG. The first part of the book didn't grab me- though the crude language did make me shudder a few times (not used to that)- and after reading the reviews I was prepared for the steamy- no, make that boiling HOT sex scenes. But the second half of the book I adored and really couldn't put it down. That is what really got me, when the emotions came out. I will be reading more by this author in the future.

Lea said...

Hey VFG:

Good review, appreciated your honesty with respect to your experience reading, "Wicked Burn".

I think we all bring our own life experiences with us when reading and internalizing a book and what one person perceives from the intent of a story, another does not. It's as simple as that. I don't think there is any right or wrong view in these situations. We all have our likes and dislikes.

I for instance, can't stand snakes, so just as an example, not against the author or the story, but I could't take the scene with Rhevenge and his ophidian lover in "Lover Enshrined". Now, I used that example because I know all of us have read that book and likely remember the scene I'm referencing.

So, the bottom line is, I guess I read and internalized Niall and Vic's story in a very different way. However, that doesn't make any of our reading experiences or opinions wrong, they are just different.

My 2 cents.

Thanks VFG

Amy C said...

VFG, if you had planed on reading Addicted soon, then you don't have to wait for me to read it. You two can do a discussion. I'm not sure when I'll get around to reading it. And I don't want to hold you guys up :).

VampFanGirl said...

Hey MsMoonlight! I'm glad you enjoyed 'Wicked Burn' but I'm sorry the language was a bit shocking. I'm used to it after reading a lot of erotic romance and Lora Leigh, my fave, uses a lot of crude language.

Me too, I definitely plan on checking out 'Daring Time' when it releases. Lea has a very good review of this one aready posted. That lucky girl got an ARC!

Happy Reading,

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Lea,

I agree that a difference in a opinion in no way makes a review bad or wrong. Thanks for enjoying mine.

I hope you don't mind that I added links to your reviews because I think people should see both sides and determine for themselves. Plus your killer review of 'Daring Time' is a must read.

Happy Reading,

VampFanGirl said...

Okay AmyC, if you don't mind I'm going to start reading 'Addicted' as soon as I receive it.

How's your SAD?


Lea said...


Gosh, you can link to my blog any time you want. I'm honored actually.

Thank you.

Happy Reading

Barbara said...

Hey, VFG! I just emailed you the tracking number. I don't know what's taking so long. Let me know if you get it.

Kristie (J) said...

I gave this one a higher grade- if only 'cause it's the hottest book I've ever read *g*. But I do wish Niall had stood up to Vic more - in fact at all really.
I am looking forward to her next book though - it sounds right up my alley.

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Kristie,

Yeah me too. I think it would have been more exciting if Niall had been a bit more aggressive. Oh, yes, I will also be picking up Ms. Kery's future books. I think she has a lot of potential to be great.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Reading,

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